I love this swirling video of a murmuration of Starlings. If you have three minutes, enjoy.
I’ve just spent three weeks in Africa where I saw a dazzle of Zebras, a journey of giraffes and a crash of Rhinos. Here is a list of some colorful names for gatherings of animals. At the end of list, I offer a few that we made up when we couldn’t find an appropriate appellation.
Antelope A herd of antelope Ant A colony or an army of ants Ape A shrewdness of apes Baboons A troop of baboons Badger A cete of badgers Bass A shoal of bass Bear A sleuth or sloth of bears Beaver A colony of beavers Bee A swarm, grist or hive of bees Bird A flock, flight, congregation or volery of birds Boar A sounder of boars Buffalo A herd of buffalo Buck A brace or clash of bucks Caterpillar An army of caterpillars Cat A clowder or clutter of cats Cattle A herd or drove of cattle Chicken A brood or peep of chickens Chicks A clutch or chattering of chicks Clam A bed of clams Cobra A quiver of cobras Cockroach An intrusion of cockroaches Colt A rag of colts Cow A kine of cows (twelve cows are a flink) Coyote A band of coyote Crane A sedge or siege of cranes Crocodile A float of crocodiles Crow A murder of crows Cub A litter of cubs Curlew A herd of curlews Cur A cowardice of curs Deer A herd of deer Dog A pack of dogs Donkey A herd or pace of asses Dove A dule of doves Duck A brace, paddling or team of ducks Elephant A herd of elephants Seal A pod of elephant seals Elk A gang of elks Emus A mob of emus Ferret A business or flensing of ferrets Finches A charm of finches Fish A school, shoal, run, haul, catch of fish Fly A swarm or business of flies Fox A skulk or leash of foxes Frog An army or colony of frogs Geese A flock, gaggle or skein (in flight) of geese Giraffe A tower of giraffes/giraffe, or groups of giraffe can be called a journey
Gnat A cloud or horde of gnats Goat A herd, tribe or trip goats Goldfinch A charm of goldfinch Gorilla A band of gorillas Goldfish A troubling of goldfish Greyhound A leash of greyhounds Hare A down or husk of hares Hawk A cast or kettle of hawks Hen A brood of hens Heron A hedge of herons, or a dissimulation, or a siege Hippopotamus A bloat of hippopotamuses /hippopotami (or a raft or a pod) Hog A drift, or parcel of hogs Horse A team, pair or harras of stud horses Hound A pack, mute or cry of hounds Jellyfish A smack of jellyfish Kangaroo A troop or mob of kangaroos Kitten A kindle or litter of kittens Lark An ascension or exaltation of larks Leopard A leap of leopards Lion A pride of lion Locust A plague of locusts Magpie A tiding of magpies Mallard A sword of mallards Mare A stud of mares Marten A richness of martens Mole A labour of moles Monkey A troop of monkeys Moose A herd of moose Mouse A mischief of mice Mule A barren or span of mules Owls A parliament of owls Otter A romp of otters Oxen A yoke, drove, team or herd of oxen Oyster A bed of oysters Parrot A company of parrots Partridge A covey of partridges Peacock A muster, pride or ostentation of peacocks Penguin A colony, parcel or huddle of penguins Pheasant A nest, nide, or bouquet of pheasants Pigeon A flock or flight of pigeons Pig A litter of pigs Plover A wing or congregation of plovers Pony A string of ponies Porpoise A pod of porpoises Quail A covey or bevy of quail Rabbit A nest of rabbits Rat A pack or swarm of rats Rattlesnake A rhumba of rattlesnakes Raven An unkindness of ravens Rhino A crash or herd of rhinos Roebuck A bevy of roebucks Rook A building or clamour of rooks Seal A herd or pod of seals Sheep A drove or flock of sheep Snake A nest of snakes Snipe A walk or wisp of snipe Sparrow A host of sparrows Squirrel A dray or scurry of squirrels Starling A murmuration of starlings Stork A mustering of storks Swallow A flight of swallows Swan A bevy, herd, lamentation or wedge of swans Swift A flock of swifts Swine A sounder or drift of swine Teal A spring of teal Tiger A swift or ambush of tigers Toad A knot of toads Trout A hover of trout Turkey A rafter of turkeys Turtledove A pitying or dule of turtledoves Turtle A bale of turtles Walrus A pod of walrus Whale A school, gam or pod of whales Viper A nest of vipers Wolf A pack or route of wolves Woodcock A fall of woodcocks Woodpecker A descent of woodpeckers Zebra A herd, zeal or dazzle of zebras
If you like a little competition, print copies of the first column of this list and challenge your guests to write in the names of the assemblies of animals.
For your amusement, here are our ‘made-up’ names for animals for which we could not find group names:
Image from scienceathawthornpbworks.com
A sparkle of meerkats (note: their group names – mob, gang or clan – are not as much fun as ours)
A prickle of porcupine
A stretch of ostrich